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ADT introduces item-level RFID to METRO Group RFID Innovation Centre

New item-level combination EAS and RFID solution offers a range of benefits

ADT, Europe's leading provider of electronic fire and security solutions, has installed a new item-level radio frequency identification (RFID) solution at the METRO Group's RFID Innovation Centre in Neuss, Germany.  This installation is part of an advanced item-level combination electronic article surveillance (EAS) and RFID concept solution from ADT.

The RFID Innovation Centre enables the METRO Group's partners and suppliers to experiment and demonstrate the capabilities of RFID under real-life conditions.  The test facilities include a model shop for groceries and clothing, as well as a simulation that encompasses the entire supply chain.

Through its market leading Sensormatic® brand, ADT has integrated item-level ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID with Ultra•Max® acousto-magnetic (AM) EAS technology.  By deploying AM EAS alongside UHF RFID, powerful benefits can be realised in terms of in-store protection and supply chain visibility.

The components of the solution installed at the Innovation Centre include an AM EAS security pedestal with integrated RFID capability, a barcode scanner for cash desks fitted with an AM deactivator and an antenna for item-level UHF RFID.  ADT has also installed item-level UHF RFID readers near the cash desks of the Centre's clothing store.  Combination hard tags and adhesive labels are being employed, in addition to automatic detachers for hard tags.

There are a number of advantages of EAS and RFID co-existence.  AM EAS delivers outstanding levels of in-store anti-theft protection, and RFID is a supply chain management solution that delivers increased visibility, efficiency and flexibility. Combining the two of these leverages the best of both technologies and ultimately customers stand to benefit through enhanced availably of products and information about where and when goods will be delivered.

Item-level RFID will be easiest to implement when EAS infrastructure is already in place, and as a result the initial investment should be much lower.  Both technologies access the same applications, which require only minor modification before they can work with combination products.  Furthermore, when developing combination tags and labels, particular care has been taken to ensure that the label footprint remains the same.

"UHF RFID at the item-level is a new development that offers a number of unique benefits, which we want to test and evaluate," says Dr. Gerd Wolfram, Managing Director of MGI METRO Group Information Technology and Project Manager of the METRO Group Future Store Initiative.  "Our RFID Innovation Centre will give ADT the opportunity to prove this pioneering technology."

Gerrit Wassink, ADT Europe's RFID General Manager, adds: "Combining EAS and RFID technologies has obvious synergies.  RFID will help get the right products to the right locations at the right time, and EAS will keep them there for the customer to purchase.  This is an exciting concept and we look forward to working with strategic partners like METRO to bring this concept to reality."

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